Update: This is getting a bit weird. It turns out that some less-than-happy folks on Samsung’s help forums have also reported microphone issues with Galaxy S8 and Note 8 devices that can be fixed by, no really, blowing on the mic and USB-C port.
The Samsung users’ plight was highlighted in a Reddit thread after the Pixel 2 reports emerged. Some of these posts date as far back as April too, so this isn’t a new issue by any means.
The full extent of the mic issue is still unknown at this stage, but several replies on the Samsung forums suggest it could be software related, as some have fixed the issue for good by uninstalling apps or rebooting their device.
Original story: The Google Pixel 2 XL has developed a bit of an unfortunate reputation for being a device that’s plagued by hardware and software issues. So far we’ve seen complaints focused on screen burn in, “clicking” noises, audio recording niggles, and just today a new set of reports citing a bug that causes the display to flash.
The smaller, cheaper Pixel 2, on the other hand, has managed to avoid many of the same complaints, but it hasn’t gone completely unscathed. Shortly after the HTC-made phone launched last month, a small bunch of Pixel 2 users took to the Google Product Forums to raise concerns about the device’s microphone.
In a forum thread, which has since amassed over 100 responses, multiple users are reporting a problem with their Pixel 2 units that causes the microphone to stop working during calls. As you can imagine, this is a fairly significant fault for any smartphone.
Most users in the thread are reporting that the issue doesn’t impact the microphone while recording video, using Google Assistant, or even when using the loudspeaker during a call. Google support staff have apparently told several users that the issue stems from an “internal software malfunction”, while others are claiming that Google is offering to replace Pixel 2 units affected by the problem.
As with any smartphone niggle, however, there are already plenty of unofficial ‘fixes’ doing the rounds, including one trick that will appeal to fans of old school video games: blow on it.
That’s right, apparently all you need to do to revive any ailing Pixel 2 speaker is give it the same treatment you would to an old Nintendo Entertainment System or Game Boy cartridge. You can even see the retro fix in action in this user video. Be warned though, the audio gets very loud as the microphone comes back to life.
Unfortunately, this 8-bit era solution isn’t sustainable in the long term, as it seems that the speaker will eventually stop working again. If you’re Pixel 2 is suffering from the same issue, your best bet is to join in the discussion and contact Google’s device support team.